2015 Le Cadeau Vineyard, “Rocheux” Pinot Noir, $49.75
Winery Info: In 1997 Tom and Deb Mortimer bought a previously uncultivated vineyard site near Newberg, Oregon. They developed and planted it with one goal: to produce distinctive, complex, estate-grown Pinot Noirs. Each of their small-batch cuvées is produced by one of three different winemakers, in collaboration with Tom and Deb, and showcases the different clones, soils, and aspect of the site.
Winemaker: Jim Sanders, who previously worked at Beaux Frères and learned his winemaking from his friend and mentor, Mike Etzel.
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir: 49% each Dijon 777 and Pommard, and 2% Wädensvil clones
Vineyard source: Sourced from the rockiest portion (hence the name, Rocheux) of their estate vineyard, in the Chehalem Mountain AVA, on a warm, southwest-facing slope with broken volcanic basalt soils.
Flavor profile: A very elegant and expressive Pinot, with inviting aromas and flavors of dark fruit and a smooth, silky texture.
Production/Availability: 147 cases. It is still in decent supply.
Drinkability: Very lovely now, through 2022.
Food Pairing: Earthy fare, such as mushroom stroganoff. Or it could stand up to filet mignon, pork roast, or roast chicken.
2016 Stedt Wines, “Arrowmatic” Gewürztraminer, $29.75
Winery Info: Stedt is a relatively new wine project based in the Southeast Wine Collective, an urban winemaking community in Portland. Owner/winemaker Chris Lubberstedt has been making wine in the Willamette Valley for over 18 years. With Stedt, his focus is on crafting wines from select vineyards in the Northwest that “express the essential flavors of their origin.”
Winemaker: Chris Lubberstedt, former winemaker at Methven, who has also worked at Cristom, Willakenzie, and Dobbes Family.
Grapes: 100% Gewüztraminer
Vineyard source: The dry-farmed Lamonti Vineyard, located in the Columbia Gorge AVA at 1450 feet elevation on Underwood Mountain, an extinct volcano. The site is just three miles north of Hood River, Oregon on the Washington side of the river. With its high elevation, volcanic loam soils, and climate reminiscent of Alsace and Germany’s Mosel Valley, it is a perfect site for growing cool-climate grapes.
Flavor profile: Sourced from the cool Underwood Mountain site, this Gewürz has excellent acidity, and is wonderfully dry and well-balanced, with tantalizing notes of spice, stone fruit, and white flowers.
Production/Availability: Less than 100 cases. It is still in decent supply.
Drinkability: Lovely now, it will open up as it breathes and will also develop in bottle for a few more years.
Food Pairing: Classic cheese boards, ham, braised pheasant, or Asian curries.